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Gordon to Acierto: Show new evidence

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Richard Gordon on Sunday said he might again open the door of the Senate blue ribbon committee to sacked Col. Eduardo Acierto if he could offer new evidence to support his claim that Chinese national Michael Yang, President Rodrigo Duterte’s former economic adviser, was into the illegal drug trade in the country.

“I never say never. Unless there’s new evidence that could prove that what he’s saying is really sincere and truthful, [then I might invite him again to a Senate investigation],” Gordon told dzBB radio.

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Offer to turn state witness

But Gordon, chair of the powerful Senate committee, said he had already offered Acierto to turn into a state witness long before he came out last week with a confidential report that implicated Yang and his compatriot, Allan Lim, to the smuggling of “shabu” (crystal meth).

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“He will just use the [Senate] blue ribbon committee to win sympathy. He should just go to Baclaran church for him to get sympathy from the Mother of Mercy,” he said bluntly.

He said Acierto, who was axed from the police service due to a graft case, had admitted that he had no other proof besides the photos of the President with Yang and Lim that were published in newspapers.

The senator said Acierto disclosed this when he was summoned to the Senate inquiry last year into the seizure of P11 billion worth of shabu from China, which the former police official allegedly facilitated.

In an interview with some reporters last week, Acierto claimed his investigation on the alleged links of Yang and Lim to the narcotics trade earned him the ire of Mr. Duterte, forcing him to go under the radar.

He said this was also the reason why he was tagged as among those who brought in the large volume of shabu hidden inside four magnetic lifters in a warehouse in Cavite.

‘Just after publicity’

“God is my witness. I gave him all the chances … [But] I will not allow him to use me,” Gordon said of Acierto.

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“He’s just after the publicity. I also want publicity, but I’m not gluttonous for publicity,” he said. “It would be better if he would just testify before the court and surrender to the authorities.”

“Why is he in hiding? That means he’s hiding something. He’s trying to bargain. He did not even want to be a state witness when I asked him because he had no evidence,” the senator added.

Gordon also urged Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Aaron Aquino and Gen. Oscar Albayalde, the Philippine National Police chief, to have Acierto arrested, pointing out that the Senate had ordered him detained for contempt.

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